DES MOINES, Iowa — The Powerball jackpot has climbed to an estimated $500 million as more people across the country buy a chance at the biggest prize in nearly a year.

Officials with the Multi-State Lottery Association raised the jackpot estimate from $450 million due to strong sales before Wednesday night’s drawing.

The jackpot ranks as the sixth largest offered in North America and the biggest since a $564.1 million Powerball prize shared by players from North Carolina, Texas and Puerto Rico last February.

A winner of Wednesday’s jackpot could claim the pre-tax $500 million prize through an annuity over 29 years or in a single pre-tax payout of $306 million.

Powerball is played in 44 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Data curated by FindTheData

Jermaine Emory Mallory fills out a Powerball number selection slip at a store in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016. The estimated Powerball jackpot for Wednesday night has soared to $450 million. No one has won the big prize in two months and officials say the jackpot is now the sixth-largest ever in North America. Players will have a chance Wednesday night at the biggest lottery prize in nearly a year. The last time Powerball had grown this large was in February 2015, when three winners split a $564.1 million prize. 


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